Aston Martin, Daimler in talks over SUV platform

by Drew Johnson

Aston Martin could launch a new SUV on a Mercedes-Benz platform.

Aston Martin's long-rumored Lagonda SUV could soon become a reality as the British automaker is said to be holding talks with Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler over a platform sharing deal.

Aston Martin recently finalized a pact with Daimler to swap engine technology for equity, but a new report suggests the partnership might not end there. Unnamed sources revealed Bloomberg that Aston is currently negotiating with Daimler for access to Mercedes-Benz's SUV know-how.

Aston Martin has been searching for a way to expand its sports car lineup for the last few years, with a utility vehicle at the top of its wish list. A high-riding four-by-four would give Aston Martin a significant boost in the United States and China, as well as developing markets with rougher roads like Russia. Moreover, an SUV model would help Aston Martin compete with upcoming utilities from Bentley and Maserati.

If approved, the SUV could be sold under Aston Martin's stalled Lagonda brand. Talks are said to be in early stages, but the SUV could launch as soon as 2017.

It remains to be seen what Daimler would get in return for its SUV architecture, but a bigger stake in the British automaker seems like the most likely exchange.

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